The Top 10 Nail Art Looks From New York Fashion Week

Plus 3 cool shades you'll want to try at home!
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Michelle Villett
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Plus 3 cool shades you'll want to try at home!
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So far this Fashion Week, we've been focusing on makeup. And since we still have London, Milan and Paris to check out, I can't promise I won't push more crazy eyeshadow on you again (boy, that didn't go over well yesterday). But today I want to switch things up and talk about a subject that we can all embrace: NAILS!

I wrote a story in FLARE a few months ago where I mentioned that nails are the new "It" accessory. Yep—forget designer handbags. These days, showing off your digits is what girls do. And I'm afraid the stakes are only getting higher and higher. Based on the manis at New York Fashion Week, if you truly want to impress, you've gotta do some nail art. (I KNOW. At least it's cheaper than a Balenciaga.)

Here are the top 10 looks. PLUS—if you're a Plain Jane like me and ain't got the skillz to draw shapes and stuff—I found three cool new colours you might wanna try. (PS. Don't forget to check out Essie's advice about finding your signature colour!)

1. The Half-Circle Mani at 3.1 Phillip Lim:

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FASHION's beauty director Lesa tweeted this one from backstage at the show (you really should follow her on Twitter) and it was love at first sight for me. Remember the half-moon mani from the S/S '11 shows? Well, this might be a slightly easier DIY job because you're just drawing circles—not following the exact shape of the moons.

Prodz used: CND Desert Suede for the base and Midnight Sapphire for the circles.

2. Glittery Squared-Off Tips at Vivienne Tam:

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I might have to eat my words about pointy tips coming back into fashion, because I actually noticed more than a few squarish shapes (but LONG squarish) this time around. Glitter, however, still holds strong—particularly in red—so at least I was right about something.

Prodz used: Incoco French Manicure Glitter Tips in Ruby Shoes (includes base and top coats).

3. Clear Tips at Behnaz Sarafpour:

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So here's another trend prediction: loooong nails. (Not the best news for peeps like me that are banging away all day on the computer, AND wear contact lenses.) Here, the look was inspired by the show's custom-designed Manolo Blahniks (hence, "Manolo Manicures") and achieved with clear tips, which look aMAZing.

Prodz used: CND Blackjack for the nail beds with clear French tips.

4. The Red Glitter Half-Moon Mani at Badgley Mischka:

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This one is incredibly glam—I'd totally dewit for a schwanky night out. The inspiration was equal parts Mad Men and Old Hollywood, and note the shape: long and oval (much more wearable than long 'n pointy, right?). But there's still a bit of an edge, because the base colour is a sheer black with chunks of red glitter.

Prodz used: Lippmann Collection polish in Believe for the half-moons and Ruby Red Slippers on the rest of the nail bed. (Lippmann does INCREDIBLE glitters, by the way. I've been wearing Bad Romance, a "blackened fuchsia" almost non-stop since January.)

5. Pointy Blue "Stained Glass" at Jen Kao:

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Okay, I think this one is best left to the professionals. (And the matching gold eyebrows? Please no.) Anyway, the effect they were going for was "stained glass" with gilted, almond-shaped gold tips. Fancy.

Prodz used: CND Midnight Sapphire as the base, tipped with Gold Chrome, and then accented with drops of Gold Pearl, Iced Blue Shimmer and more Midnight Sapphire.

6. The Calligraphy Manicure at Prabal Gurung:

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Here's another one for the true nail artistes. Created by celebrity nail guru Jin Soon Choi, these square-shaped talons were dressed up with Asian-inspired calligraphy strokes.

Prodz used: Prabal Gurung for Sally Hansen polish in Crinoline (launching this fall) as a base, and detailed with Sally Hansen Midnight in New York.

7. Baroque Nails at Jason Wu:

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This collection took inspiration from Versailles—so it was fitting that the manicures were deep, rich and sophisticated. Again, we've got that almond shape goin' on and the two tones. Notice a theme yet?

Prodz used: CND Dark Ruby with a layer of Bloodline on top, plus Gold Chrome for the tips.

8. The Modern French Mani at Preen:

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Finally! Something I think I just might be able to manage at home. Now, we all know (or should) that traditional French manicures are iffy territory these days. (And if you tell me that you French-pedi your toes, I don't think we can be friends.) HOWEVER. On the fingertips, in high-contrast colours and with sooper-fine tips, a neat, short French mani looks surprisingly awesome.

Prodz used: Zoya Nail Polish in Dove with Caitlin on the tips.

9. The Shady Lady Manicure at Monique Lhuillier:

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Another twist on the short-ish French mani: a nude base with, again, the finest of tips in black.

Prodz used: CND nail polish in Silver Chrome topped with Desert Suede and then Dark Amethyst (launching this fall) on the tips.

10. The Fluro French Mani at Tibi:

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Should you wish to further dial up your French mani, howzabout some hot-pink tips? I love the contrast with the nude nail bed.

Prodz used: Dashing Diva neon pink polish on the tips.

And now, if you don't like to get TOO fancy, three new solid shades that I think you'll dig. Okay, they're going to take a bit of mixing—so let's hope someone whips these up in single bottles real soon. The other thing to notice is that these are all matte, so if you don't have one already, it might be time to invest in a mattifying top coat...

Crème de Menthe at Costello Tagliapietra:

NYFW F11 Costello Tagliapietra

Prodz used: A blend of CND Brilliant White, Bicycle Yellow, Green Scene and Silver Chrome, and then finished with Super Matte Top Coat.

Mauvy Griege at Catherine Malandrino:

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Prodz used: CND Silver Chrome and Brilliant White with drops of Asphalt, Putty, Desert Suede, Eclectic Purple and Bicycle Yellow for the base, and then finished with a top coat of Super Matte.

The Perfect Peachy Nude at Jenni Kayne:

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Prodz used: CND Desert Suede layered with Copper Shimmer, and then washed out with a coat of semi-sheer patina Rose Water and topped with Super Matte. UPDATE: A few peeps are also asking about the Jenni Kayne lip shades, which I agree are fabuloso! They are M.A.C Chromagraphic Lip Pencil in Processed Magenta, Magenta Pencil and Magenta Madness Pigment.

What do you think of these Fashion Week nail trends?
Which one is your favourite? (Personally, I'm loving the Tibi. Because just like Elle Woods, hot pink IS my signature colour.)
Might you be brave enough to try a DIY?